Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Pioneering New House Building Model To Be Considered

30th July 2010

Highland Councillors are being asked to consider investigating the feasibility of a pioneering new model of providing much-needed affordable homes in the Highlands.

It could see a new build programme of 650 houses over a five year period.

The idea is for the Council to work with a private sector partner to release the equity currently tied up in its Council houses. As houses become vacant they would transfer to the private sector partner in return for a capital payment. The capital would be used to build new houses for let as Council tenancies.

A key point to note is that the Council would continue to allocate, manage and maintain the stock, based on agreed fees per unit to be paid to the council by the partner.

The transferred houses would be relet to applicants on the Highland Housing Register at rent levels pitched between the average council rent and private rents, currently estimated at 75 per week (charged over 52 weeks). The average council rent for the current financial year is 59.76 (over 52 weeks).

Properties would revert to Council ownership at nil cost after 25 years.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Council's Housing and Social Work Committee, said: "This is an interesting proposition that has come forward from our Housing and Property management team, which allows the Council to release equity on the asset value of council housing becoming vacant to relet to generate funds for new council house building. We estimate this could number 650 over a five year period, The number could be significantly increased if the Scottish Government continues to provide subsidy for Council house building.

"The Housing and Social Work Committee will be asked to agree to undertake and fund a full feasibility assessment on the equity release model as a means to deliver additional affordable housing in the Highlands. We would work closely with the Scottish Government in developing the model.

"We would then come back to the Committee with a detailed business case."

She stressed that addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the Highlands is one of the Council's key priorities.

She added: "Strengthening the Highlands" has a target of 2,000 new affordable homes by 2011. We are on target to meet this commitment, but have identified ongoing high levels of demand for additional housing for rent beyond 2011. Successive Local Housing Strategies have identified the need for additional housing supply as the main strategic issue in relation to housing."

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

29/8/2016
Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for review
The Redesign Board of The Highland Council is preparing to agree a list of functions identified for review.   The Redesign Board, which is a partnership between Members and staff, was set up on 18 April 2016 to make proposals on redesigning The Highland Council, in the context of our new duties to involve communities more in local decisions and services affecting them.  
Leader welcomes delay in closure of Inverness Police Control Room
The Leader of the Council has welcomed the announcement by Police Scotland of their plan to delay the closure of the Inverness Control Room and transfer of command and control to Dundee until June 2017.   Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "The HMICS (Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularies Scotland) Report set the bar high for standards of assurance and we need to have a guarantee that all these standards have been met before any changes can take place.  
26/8/2016
Highland Council To Join New Islands Strategic Group
All Scottish councils with responsibility for island communities involved.   A new Islands Strategic Group will be created, bringing all six local authorities with responsibility for Scotland's 93 inhabited island communities together.  
24/8/2016
Business case for Regional Sports Hub submitted
A business case for the council's proposal for a regional sports hub has been submitted to the council's finance service.   Councillors agreed in March 2015 to progress an ambitious Regional Sports Facility for the Highlands, which could include a significant contribution by Sportscotland to the project.  
24/8/2016
Highland Council Agrees Funding For Three Projects
Funding applications totalling £558,000 from the Highland Council's Capital Discretionary Fund have been agreed by Resources Committee, for four local proposals in the Highlands.   £18,000 was awarded to Evanton Community Trust towards the urgent repair and reinstatement of three local footpaths.  
24/8/2016
Highland Council selects preferred bidder for ICT Contract
The Council's Resources Committee has agreed to select WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd as its Preferred Bidder for the future delivery of its ICT Core Services.   However, the Council is still in a commercially confidential procurement process and an announcement of a formal award of contract will not be made until around 12 September following the required legal "standstill period".  
23/8/2016
New eBuilding Standards Portal
People submitting building standards applications to The Highland Council will benefit from a major new improvement to the Council's digital services that will be on offer from Wednesday 24 August.   The eBuilding Standards Service will allow customers to submit all Building Standards applications to Highland Council electronically in the same way customers can already make planning applications electronically using ePlanning.  
18/8/2016
Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary guidance agreed for adoption
Members of The Highland Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to adopt the Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance as statutory supplementary guidance to the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.   This means that from today the Guidance will be used as material consideration in any applications and will have full weight in the planning process as part of the Development Plan once Scottish Ministers have given it their final scrutiny.  
18/8/2016
Culloden and Ardersier by-election timetable announced
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Culloden and Ardersier ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Thursday 17 August) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor John Ford.  He was one of four Councillors representing Ward 18 which has an electorate of 9,137.  
18/8/2016
Options appraisal to look at future grass cutting service
Grass cutting in Skye and Lochalsh is to be brought in house from next year and the Council is to carry out an options appraisal to allow members to decide how future grass cutting will be carried out in the rest of the Highlands.   Grass cutting and burial ground maintenance forms part of the Council's Amenity Services which also includes war memorial maintenance, management of public conveniences, play park maintenance and burial and cremation services.  

[Printer Friendly Version]